An imaginative, inspired depiction of emerging from isolation.



A little girl learns to step out of her bubble of safety and into the scary world of friendship in this beautifully painted, rhyming picture book from debut author McGlincy and artist Meunier (Loie’s Disease, 2016, etc.).

In a wordless two-page spread, Wheezie Stevens, a blonde girl, is surrounded by a blue, star-speckled bubble beneath a tree while blurred children play in the background. This sets the stage for the girl’s first-person narrative. She once lived in a bubble “Filled with hopes and dreams,” where she cuddled her bear and read her book. She saw the beauty of the world but often felt alone. While her imagination filled her bubble, her sadness and tears eventually made it feel like she could flood her once-safe space. She reaches out a hand to another child, depicted as an Asian-American boy, who pulls her from her bubble in a beautiful wordless spread. Intended to depict the struggles of a child with cystic fibrosis (with which the author is also diagnosed), the narrative has a more universal theme of reaching out when help is needed. Although some of the rhymes are a stretch (magnolia/hallelujah, time/rise), the metaphors are well-considered and heartfelt. Meunier’s textured, impressionistic paintings give nuance to Wheezie’s emotions and the potential as she begins her brave new adventure. For children unsure of how to reach out beyond their isolation, this would be an excellent pairing with Lam’s Wallpaper (2018).

An imaginative, inspired depiction of emerging from isolation.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2019

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.


From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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